DVM Newsmagazine, a publication for veterinarians, reported that Corey resigned on Jan. 30. The move was a reluctant one on her part she said, but she could not accept the severance agreement the ASPCA offered, which she said would have limited her career options going forward.
“The agreement was so restrictive that I felt I would have to abandon my special interest and expertise in equine welfare,” Corey told the magazine. “The severance agreement would have lasted forever.”
This past fall, Corey became a central figure in the debate over carriage horses in New York City. The ASPCA, which polices the carriage horse industry, commissioned a necropsy on Charlie after the carriage horsecollapsed in the middle of West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue on a Sunday morning in October while on his way to Central Park.
Charlie was pronounced dead at the scene, and the news prompted an outcry from animal rights activists and a vigorous defense of the industry by carriage horse drivers and even Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Shortly after Charlie’s death, the ASPCA issued a press release detailing the preliminary findings of the necropsy, which was then not yet complete. In that statement, Corey said that Charlie had been suffering from a cracked tooth and a stomach ulcer before his death.
“We are very concerned that Charlie was forced to work in spite of painful maladies,” Corey said in a statement at the time. “And these particular health issues can be difficult to diagnose because draft horses are by nature a stoic breed, not displaying signs of pain until they are very severe.”
Then, a week later, reports surfaced that Corey tried to retract her statement, claiming that she had been “under a lot of pressure during the writing of that press release.”
As the release read, it “implies that the carriage driver or other stakeholder was aware of the condition,” Corey said, adding that she disagreed with that implication.
But the ASPCA did not change its statement and instead suspended Corey without pay. The veterinarian later filed a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s office.
A spokeswoman for the ASPCA confirmed that Corey has since resigned from the organization but said she could not comment further.